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Lyr Add: Copshawholme Fair (Steeleye Span)

09 Sep 97 - 12:46 PM
Jerry Friedman 09 Sep 97 - 10:37 PM
10 Sep 97 - 12:04 AM
Alan of Australia 10 Sep 97 - 07:11 AM
Shula 10 Sep 97 - 07:51 AM
Bruce 10 Sep 97 - 10:51 AM
Alan of Australia 10 Sep 97 - 12:32 PM
Shula 10 Sep 97 - 01:15 PM
Alan of Australia 16 Sep 97 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,Chris 23 Aug 06 - 11:03 AM
ard mhacha 23 Aug 06 - 11:42 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 Aug 06 - 11:51 AM
jacko@nz 23 Aug 06 - 08:17 PM
Matthew Edwards 25 Aug 06 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 26 Oct 16 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Auldtimer 26 Oct 16 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Sue Allan 27 Oct 16 - 11:26 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: COPSHAWHOLME FAIR
From:
Date: 09 Sep 97 - 12:46 PM

COPSHAWHOLME FAIR

On a fine evenin' fair in the month of Avril
O'er the hill came the man with the bythe sunny smile
And the folks they were throngin' the roads everywhere
Makin' haste to be in at Copshawholme Fair

I've seen 'em a' comin' in from the mountains and glens
Those rosy-faced lasses and strappin' young men
With a joy in their heart and unburdened o' care
A' meetin' old friends at Copshawholme Fair

There are lads for the lasses there's toys for the bairns
There tumblers and jugglers and folks with no arms
There's a balancing act here and a fiddler there
There are nut-men and spice-men at Copshawholme Fair

There are peddlers and potters and gingerbread stands
There are peepshows and poppin-darts in the green caravan
There's fruit from all nations exhibited there
With kale plants from Orange at Copshawholme Fair

When the hirin's, o'er off they all sprang
Into the ballroom for to join in the throng
And "I Never Will Lie With My Mammy Nae Mair"
The fiddles play briskly at Copshawholme Fair

Transcribed from "The King -- The Best of Steeleye Span"


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Copshawholme Fair
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 09 Sep 97 - 10:37 PM

In the second line, is "bythe" some Scots word I don't know (there are a lot), or is it a typo for "blythe" (blithe)?


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Copshawholme Fair
From:
Date: 10 Sep 97 - 12:04 AM

'month of Avril' is a new one to me, too.


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Subject: Lyr Add: COPSHAWHOLME FAIR
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 10 Sep 97 - 07:11 AM

G'day,
I hear it as follows:-

COPSHAWHOLME FAIR

On a Friday it fell in the month of Avril
O'er the hill came the morn with the blythe sunny smile
And the folks they were throngin' the roads everywhere
Makin' haste to be in at Copshawholme Fair

I've seen 'em a' comin' in from the mountains and glens
Those rosy-faced lasses and strappin' young men
With a joy in their heart and unburdened o' care
A' meetin' old friends at Copshawholme Fair

There are lads for the lasses there's toys for the bairns
There tumblers and jugglers and folks with no arms
There's a balancing act here and a fiddler there
There are nut-men and spice-men at Copshawholme Fair

There are peddlers and potters and gingerbread stands
There are peepshows and puff and darts and the green caravans
There's fruit from all nations exhibited there
With kale plants from Harwich at Copshawholme Fair

When the hirin's, o'er off they all sprang
Into the ballroom for to join in the throng
And "I Never Will Lie With My Mammy Nae Mair"
The fiddles play briskly at Copshawholme Fair

Also, when Tim Hart and Maddy prior sang it on their own there were about 3 more verses. I'll type them up & post them sometime soon. They sing 'Avril' both times.

In the meantime here is another version. From "Traditional Tunes" - Kidson, 1891, republished 1970. I'm surprised it's not 'Avril' here.

COUPSHAWHOLME FAIR

On a Friday it fell in the month of April,
O'er the fields came the morn with a blithe sunny smile;
The folks were a'thranging the roads everywhere
Making haste to be in at Coupshawholme Fair.

They were seen coming in frae the mountains and glen,
Baith the rosy faced lasses, and strapping young men:
A'jumping wi' joy, and unburdened wi' care,
And meeting auld friends at the Coupshawholme Fair.

It's a day when auld courtships are often renewed,
A' disputes set aside, or more hotly pursued;
What Barleycorn Johnny sees fit to declare
Is law, for he's king at the Coupshawholme Fair.

There's pedlars and potters and gingerbread stands,
Peep-shows, puff and dart men, and green caravans;
There's fruit frae a' nations exhibited there,
And Kail plants frae Harwich at Coupshawholme Fair.

There's lads for the lasses, and toys for the bairns,
Auld blin' ballant singers, and folk wi' nae arms;
The fiddler is here, and the tumblers there,
Wi' nut-men and spice-men at Coupshawholme Fair.

Now next is the hiring, if you want to hear tell,
I'll tell it as far as I've seen it mysel';
What wages are gi'en is ill to declare,
Sae muckle they vary at Coupshawholme Fair.

The first I saw hired was a strapping young queen,
He asked her her age and where she had been;
What wages she wanted, and how long she'd been there,
An' gin she wad hire at Coupshawholme Fair.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Copshawholme Fair
From: Shula
Date: 10 Sep 97 - 07:51 AM

If there's a linguist about, could you elucidate the Gaelic/Gallic "Avril" connection?

Shula


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Subject: Tune Add: COPSHAWHOLME FAIR
From: Bruce
Date: 10 Sep 97 - 10:51 AM

Kidson noted that the song was a Scots one, reputedly by a Robert Anderson, and further, thought that he might be missing one or more verses. He identifed Coupshawholme as a local name for Castleton.

In ABC format, here is Kidson's tune, which he took to be an old one.


X:1
T:Coupshawholme Fair
T:from Kidson's Traditional Tunes
Q:60
L:1/8
M:12/8
K:E:dorian
.d3/2 c/2|B3/2 E/2 F E3/2 F/2 G B3/2 A/2 B .d2 B/2 B/2|A3/2 D/2 D D3/2 E/2 D F3/2 D/2 F .A2||(d/2c/2)|B3/2 E/2 E E3/2 F/2 E B3/2 A/2 B.e2 c/2 c/2|d3/2 D/2 D D3/2 E/2 F A3/2 G/2 F E2|]


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Copshawholme Fair
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 10 Sep 97 - 12:32 PM

I'm no linguist but I wouldn't have thought that a French word was all that uncommon in old English or particularly Scottish dialects.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Copshawholme Fair
From: Shula
Date: 10 Sep 97 - 01:15 PM

Had the same view, but wanted to check with someone more knowledgeable because of Jerry's comment.

Shula


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Subject: Lyr Add: COPSHAWHOLME FAIR
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 16 Sep 97 - 11:56 AM

Here is the complete song as sung by Tim Hart and Maddy Prior (approx.)
It turns out there were 6 more verses.

COPSHAWHOLME FAIR

On a Friday it fell in the month of Avril
O'er the hill came the morn with the blythe sunny smile
And the folks they were throngin' the roads everywhere
Makin' haste to be in at Copshawholme Fair.

I've seen 'em a' comin' in from the mountains and glens
Those rosy-faced lasses and strappin' young men
With a joy in their heart and unburdened o' care
A' meetin' old friends at Copshawholme Fair.

There are lads for the lasses there's toys for the bairns
There tumblers and jugglers and folks with no arms
There's a balancing act here and a fiddler there
There are nut-men and spice-men at Copshawholme Fair.

There are peddlers and potters and gingerbread stands
There are peepshows and puff and darts and the green caravans
There's fruit from all nations exhibited there
With kale plants from Harwich at Copshawholme Fair.

And now 'bout the hiring if you want to hear tell
You shall ken it as far as I've seen it mysel'
What wages they addle it's ill to declare
The muckle they vary at Copshawholme Fair.

The first I saw hired was a strapping young queen,
He asked what her age was and where she had been;
What work she'd been doing, how long she'd been there,
What wages she wanted at Copshawholme Fair.

Just then the pit lass stood a wee while and gloom
And she flushed and she scraped with her feet on the ground
Then she clutched at her heart and did stoutly declare
"I'll have five pound and ten at Copshawholme Fair."

Says he, "But m'lass that's a very big wage."
Then he turned him about like he'd been in a rage
Says "I'll give ye five pounds but I'll give you nae mair
And I think ye maun tak' it at Copshawholme Fair."

He took out a shilling for to hold the pit wench
In case it might enter her head for to flinch
But she grabbed at it muttering "I should o' had mair
But I think I will tak' it at Copshawholme Fair."

When the hirin's, o'er off they all sprang
Into the ballroom for to join in the throng
And "I Never Will Lie With My Mammy Nae Mair"
The fiddles play briskly at Copshawholme Fair.

Now this is the fashion they thus pass the day
Till the night coming they all hurry away
And some are so sick that they'll never go mair
With the fighting and dancing at Copshawholme Fair.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Copshawholme Fair
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:03 AM

Surely the kail-plants will be from HAWICK, in the Scottish Borders, not from Harwich?
Cheers
Chris


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Subject: RE: LYR ADD: Copshawholme Fair
From: ard mhacha
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:42 AM

A great song well performed by SteelEye Span, could Avril not be April, the hiring fairs usually took place in early May and October.


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Subject: Lyr Add: COPSHAWHOLME FAIR
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 11:51 AM

Jon Boden sings 'April' on Bellow. From the sleevenotes:

A wonderful insight into the world of the hiring fair - a mixture of malevolence and youthful exuberance - perhaps not so different from their descendants, the modern-day fun fair.


On a Friday it fell in the month of April
On a hill came the sun with a blythe sunny smile
And the folks were a thronging the roads everywhere
Making haste to be in at Copshawholme Fair

I've seen them coming in over mountain and glen
Both rosy faced lasses and strapping young men
With a joy in their hearts and unburdened of care
They'll be meeting old friends at Copshawholme Fair

There's lads for the lasses, there's toys for the bairns
There are fiddlers and tumblers and folks with no arms
There's a balancer here and a fiddler there
And a nut man and spice man at Copshawhome Fair

Oh but now about the hiring if you want to hear tell
You should ken it as far as I've seen it mysel'
What wages they adle it's ill to declare
The muckle they vary at Copshawholme Fair

Justielle I have seen, she's a strapping young queen
And he asked what her age was and where she had been
What work she'd been doing - how long she'd been there
What wages she wanted at Copshawholme Fair

Just then the big lass stood a wee while in gloom
Then she turned and she scraped with her feet on the ground
Then she plucked up her heart and did stoutly declare
I'll have five pound and ten at Copshawholme Fair

He says but my lass that's a very big wage
Then he turned him about like he'd been in a rage
Said I'll give you five pound but I'll give you nae mair
But I think you will take it at Copshawholme Fair

He put his hand in his pocket, took a hold of bit wench
In case it should enter her hand for to flinch
But she grabbed at it muttering I should have had mair
But I think I shall take it at Copshawholme Fair

Now the hiring is over and off they all gang
In to the ballroom for to join in the thrang
And I never shall lie with my mammy nae mair
For the fiddlers play briskly at Copshawholme Fair

(Trad. arr. Spiers & Boden)


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Subject: Lyr Add: COPSHAWHOLME FAIR
From: jacko@nz
Date: 23 Aug 06 - 08:17 PM

Lots of versions here. Seems to me that the late Willie Scott (b. 1897), who learned the song from his mother, should get a mention. Willie, who was born into a shepherding family in the Borders, quite conceivably attended the Copshawholm Fair before it was last held in April 1912. (It was held on the second Friday of April or the Friday before the 17th of May). It was actually called the Castleton Hiring Fair.

Myself, I finish with the spare four lines substituted into in the last whole verse instead of as shown

Jack

COPSHAWHOLM FAIR

On a Friday it fell in the month of april
Ower the hills cam the morn wi her blithesomest smile
The folks were aa thranging the roads everywhere
Makin haste tae be in at the Copshawholm Fair
They were seen comin in frae the mountains and glens
Baith rosie faced lassies and strappin young men
Wi a joy in their hairts and unburdened wi care
When meetin auld freens at the Copshawholm Fair

'Tis a day when auld courtships are often renewed
Disputes set aside or more hotly pursued
When Barleycorn Johnny sees fit tae declare
Is law for he's king at Copshawholm Fair
There are lads for the lassies and toys for the bairns
There's blin' ballad singers and folk wi nae airms
A fiddler is here an a thimbler is there
Wi nutmen and spicemen at Copshawholm Fair

There's pethers and pothers and gingerbread stans
Peepshows, puff and darts an great caravans
There's fruit frae a nations exhibited there
And kale plants frae Hawick at the Copshawholm Fair
Noo aboot the hirin if ye want tae hear tell
Ye shall ken it as far as a've seen it masel
That whit wages are gien, it's ill tae declare
Sae muckle they vary at Copshawholm Fair

Jist yin a hae seen, a strappin young quine
Heard her speir whit her wage wis an whaur she had been
Whit work she'd been daein an how lang she'd been there
Whit wages she wanted at Copshawholm Fair
At first the young lassie a wee while stood dumb
She blushed an she scrappit her fit on the grun
At last she took hairt and did stoutly declare
A'll hae five pund and ten at Copshawholm Fair

Says he "But ma lass that's a vera big wage'
And turnin about as he'd been in a rage, says
"A'll gie ye five pund, but A'll gie ye nae mair
A think ye maun tak it this Copshawholm Fair
He held oot a shillin tae arle the bit wench
In case it should enter her noddle tae flinch
She grab at it mutterin 'A shoulda haen mair
But yet a will tak it at Copshawholm Fair

Noo the hirin wis dune and aff they a sprang
They've run tae the bar-room tae jine in the thrang
"I never will lie wi my mammy nae mair"
The fiddler plays briskly at Copshawhom Fair
There's one in the corner sits drinkin his gill
Another beside him sits sippin his yill
Anithir is strippit an swearin richt sair
Room will ye no gie me at the Copshawholm Fair

Noo this is the fashion they thus passed the day
Till nicht comes at last and they ellie away
But some are sae sick that they canna dae mair
Wi dancin and fechtin at Copshawholm Fair


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Copshawholme Fair
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 25 Aug 06 - 04:46 PM

Jack, that's a splendid version from Willie Scott; is that from Alison McMorland's book?

Another person who deserves mention here is Robert Forrester of Carlisle who was recorded singing it in 1953 by Jack Little, although he had to wait until 1982 for the recording to be issued!

Sue Allan discovered the recording in the archives in Carlisle Castle and issued it on a wonderful LP, 'Pass the Jug Round' and Veteran re-issued it on CD, VT142CD, in 2001.

Robert Forrester's singing can also be heard on the Topic CD TSCD655 Come all my lads that follow the plough in the Voice of the People series. (In the same series there is a recording of him playing the song tune in waltz time on a mouth organ with the Alf Adamson Square Dance Band at Low Hesket village hall in 1956.)

The Topic booklet gives a transcription of Robert Forrester's 12 verse version, but it leaves out the spoken introduction of the 1953 recording which is well worth adding here:-
"My name is Robert Forrester, and I'll sing you this song of Copshawholme Fair; a song of the Border where my ancestors hail frae. It is the story of a country fair, and the hiring of farm servants. This air, played by my friend Norman Alford has, you may have noticed, a strong Scottish flavour. To do it with the tin whistle, much used at northern fairs in days gone by, matches the wildness of the border country."

Robert and Norman collected and played many traditional Cumberland songs and tunes in the early 1950's, but this ended following Norman's early death from leukaemia in 1954. Robert had a successful career as a commercial artist with the Metal Box Company. He died in 1988; a recent exhibition of his art was held in Carlisle in 2004, and some more of his pictures are on display at Tullie House Museum in Carlisle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: COPSHAWHOLM FAIR (David Anderson)
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 26 Oct 16 - 04:17 PM

Just found this thread - had I done so earlier I could have answered some of the questions being posed, e.g. It is April not Avril, but pronounced in the Borders as Appril and the kale plants are indeed from Hawick.

The song was written by David Anderson (NB NOT Cumberland dialect poet Robert Anderson), who was what English literature academics like to call a 'labouring class poet' from Newcastleton - or Copshawholm/Copshawholme, the old name of the lands were called on which the Duke of Buccleuch built the planned village of Newcastleton or Castleton in 1793. David Anderson published 'Copshawholm Fair' in his poetry collection Musings by the Burns and Braes of Liddesdale (C. Thurnam & Sons, Carlisle, 1868), in which he adds the note that says he composed the song some 38 years before, i.e. 1830, and notes that the hiring fair was an annual event. In fact, according to an 1880s Gazetteer hiring fairs were held here three times a year: second Friday of April, and Fridays before 17 May and 8 November. Another source says the last hiring fair was held in 1912.

Newcastleton is also, of course, home to a fine Traditional Music Festival each year - 2017 will be the 48th festival and runs 30 June - 2 July.

Anderson's words are copied below:

COPSHAWHOLM FAIR
by David Anderson

[1] On a Friday it fell, in the month of April,
Ower the hills cam' the morn, wi' her blithesomest smile,
The folk were a' thranging the roads everywhere,
Making haste to be in at the Copshawholm Fair.

[2] They are seen coming in frae mountain and glen,
Baith rosy-faced lasses and strappan young men,
A' jumping wi' joy and unburdened wi' care,
When meeting auld frien's at Copshawholm Fair.

[3] 'Tis a day when old courtships are aften renewed,
Old disputes set aside or more hotly pursued;
What Barleycorn Johnny sees fit to declare
Is law—for he's king at the Copshawholm Fair.

[4] There are lads for the lasses and toys for the bairns,
And blind ballad-singers and folk wi' no airms;
A fiddler is here, and a thimbler is there,
Wi' nut-men and spice-men at Copshawholm Fair.

[5] There's pethers and potters, and gingerbread stan's,
Peep-shows, puff-and-darts, and the great caravans;
There's fruit frae all nations exhibited there,
And kail-plants frae Hawick at Copshawholm Fair.

[6] Now next 'bout the hiring, if you want to hear tell,
You shall ken it as far as I've seen it mysel';
But what wages are gien it is ill to declare,
Sae muckle they vary at Copshawholm Fair.

[7] Only ane I saw hired, a strappan young queen,
Heard her spier'd what her age was, and where she had been,
What work she'd been doing, how long she'd been there,
What wages she wanted at Copshawholm Fair.

[8] At first the young lassie a wee while stood dumb,
She blush'd and she scrapit wi' her foot on the grun';
At last she took heart, and did stoutly declare—
I'll hae five punds and ten at Copshawholm Fair.

[9] Says he, but my lass, that's a very big wage,
And turning about as he'd been in a rage,
Says, I'll gie thee five punds, but I'll gie nae mair,
I think thou maun tak' it this Copshawholm Fair.

[10] He held out the shilling to arle the bit wench,
In case it should enter her noddle to flinch;
She grap at it, muttering, I should hae had mair,
But yet I will tak' it at Copshawholm Fair.

[11] Now the hiring is done, and off they a' spang,
They rin to the ball-room to join wi' the thrang;
"I never will lie wi' my mammy nae mair"
The fiddle plays briskly at Copshawholm Fair.

[12] There is one in the corner sits drinking his gill,
Another beside him sits sipping his yill,
Another is strippit, and swearing right sair,
Room, will ye no' gie me at Copshawholm Fair?

[13] Now this is the fashion; they thus pass the day,
Till night comes at last and they ellie away;
But some are so sick that they canna do mair,
With dancing and fighting at Copshawholm Fair.

[Formatting fixed by a Mudelf.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Copshawholme Fair
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 26 Oct 16 - 05:09 PM

Copshaholm is of course Newcastelton in the brders. Where this song was often to beheard.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Copshawholme Fair
From: GUEST,Sue Allan
Date: 27 Oct 16 - 11:26 AM

One of my posts above explains that! Plus the fact that it was a model village built end of 18th century, and it has a Traditional Music Festival each year: next year's is 30 June-2 July.


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